Question by almostthere$ : Does anyone know of some free dog training web sites?
I have a 11 week old German Shepherd and she is driving me up the wall! its very hard to potty train her also… please help!
Answer by hanksimon
Go to the library and ask about interlibrary loans for books and tapes by Ian Dunbar, and other positive training methods.
Don’t use ammonia, because it smells like urine to the dog. Use vinegar or the special pet stain cleaners, instead.
For eating feces, ask the Vet, and if there is no medical problem, then switch food. Don’t give any people food, and don’t give any wet food, just provide dry food, like Purina. She may not eat it, but persist for a couple of days, because she won’t starve.
Since she was mistreated, I suggest starting from the beginning in the same way that you would house train a young puppy:
1. Watch her very carefully when you are home and take her outside after she drinks, eats, or sniffs around. Keep her outside for 5 minutes, then come back in…. but keep careful watch. Always take her to the exact same spot outside for her toilet, and clean up solid waste every few days.
2. When you can’t watch her, put her in a crate. It is only cruel, if you keep her in the crate all the time. You want to try to let her out about every four hours, but she is old enough that she can handle 8 hours, if you are diligent in walking her before and after meals, and before and after leaving for work/school.
Also, a crate is less cruel then returning her to the shelter.
3. If you don’t use a crate, then confine her in a room, like the bathroom or kitchen that you can cover with newspaper.
4. Put food, water, toys, and bedding in one corner. When you come back after a few hours, take her outside for a walk. Then clean up soiled newspaper, clean the floor underneath with vinegar, and save a small piece for the smell. Place some clean newspaper in another corner of the room, away from her food, and place the smelly piece of newspaper in the corner. Keep newspaper on the rest of the floor.
5. The next day she should have tried to go to the bathroom close to the smelly corner. Repeat the process from above, clean the floor, use new paper, place a new smelly piece of paper in the corner opposite her food.
You are trying to teach her where her toilet is by placing a large blinking sign that says bathroom. Since your dog can’t read, you are using a small piece of paper for the same purpose. Your dog has a good sense of smell, so the smelly paper doesn’t have to be very large or disgusting. Just a few inches.
6. Keep doing this for a few days, until your dog goes to the bathroom consistently in the same 5′ x 5′ area. If you are patient and loving, and if she is not too damaged, then she may learn to go in an area less than 2′ x 2′ in less than 4 days, but don’t push it.
7. If things are on track after 5 or 6 days, then remove all of the paper, except a 5′ x 5′ area in the corner, with a small smelly piece of paper.
8. Advanced: If she is relaxing, then you might slowly reduce the area to about 1′ x 1′, then you can train her to use a kitty litter box inside… but that may be pushing things.
9. When she is consistent, then remove all the paper, and move the smelly piece of paper to the outside to show her where her bathroom is. She may have a few accidents, so try to understand what happened and why she had the accident.
But this method should work for most puppies and dogs.
10. Things to remember:
A. You can remove the paper when you are home and watching her. You only need the paper during the training period of about two weeks, and only when no one is home to watch her, while she is confined in the kitchen/bathroom.
B. Always clean up the floor under any mess or mistake with lots of vinegar to remove the smell.
C. Remember that the smell to a dog is like a blinking sign to people.
D. Always get rid of soiled newspaper, except for a tiny peice with smell. Replace the soiled newspaper with clean newspaper for the first few days.
Also, walk her, pet her, and talk to her softly… so that she will learn the difference between a neglectful home, and a loving one.
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